Intel’s leaks keep flowing as ‘Coffee Lake’ desktop processor rollout nears

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PC builders should not have to wait long before Intel releases its eighth-generation Coffee Lake desktop processors.

Additional information regarding Intel’s upcoming eighth-generation “Coffee Lake” processor family arrived in the form of leaked slides. They reveal a few details about the company’s unannounced Coffee Lake-S lineup, which will introduce six-core processor models to the mainstream desktop CPU market.

As a refresher, there are several variants of a specific CPU processor design (architecture/generation) that are designated with a letter. For instance, Coffee Lake-X would consist of high-end chips for the enthusiast market. A step down would be the “S” group for mainstream/performance PCs, followed by the “H” group for laptops requiring high-performance graphics. Other processor groups include the “U” chips for ultra-low power thin and light notebooks, and the “Y” chips serving extreme low-power tablets and 2-in-1 detachables.

As far as the actual Coffee Lake-S processor lineup goes, the slides do not appear to list specific models. Instead, there’s a new Core i3-8300 version added to the Coffee Lake rumor mill sporting four cores and eight threads. We do not know the specifics like speed and power draw just yet but the four-core chip will likely surface again in a few days.

i7-8700K 6 / 12 3.7GHz 4.7GHz 4.6GHz 4.4GHz 4.3GHz 95 watts
i7-8700 6 / 12 3.2GHz 4.6GHz 4.5GHz 4.3GHz 4.3GHz 65 watts
i5-8600K 6 / 6 3.6GHz 4.3GHz 4.2GHz 4.2GHz 4.1GHz 95 watts
i5-8600 6 / 6 2.8GHz 4.0GHz 3.9GHz 3.9GHz 3.8GHz 65 watts
i3-8300 4 / 8 ? ? ? ? ? ?

Of course, the slides have since been removed, but they revealed that the Coffee Lake-S platform will rely on the same motherboard LGA 1151 “seat” (socket) used by Intel’s seventh-generation (Kaby Lake) and sixth-generation (Skylake) desktop processors. The caffeinated chips will be compatible with Intel’s upcoming 300 Series motherboard chipsets, indicating that a new motherboard may be required to use Coffee Lake-S CPUs if Intel doesn’t release supporting firmware for its older 200 Series motherboard chips.

The Coffee Lake-S platform will include integrated USB 3.1 Gen2 (10Gbps) technology. It will also support Intel’s integrated Wireless AC Revision 2 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, next-generation Intel Optane memory, Thunderbolt 3 with DisplayPort 1.4, enhanced memory overclocking, and DDR4 memory clocked at 2,666MHz. An integrated SDXC 3.0 controller will be included, as well.

According to the slides, Coffee Lake-S will enable a single processor to handle up to 24 PCI Express 3.0 lanes, up to 10 USB 3.1 ports with six of those based on Gen2 (10Gbps) technology, and up to six SATA 3 ports. On the storage front, Coffee Lake-S will rely on Intel Rapid Storage Technology to handle storage based on PCI Express 3.0 x4 connections.

Intel’s leaked roadmap indicates the first wave of Coffee Lake-S desktop processors will arrive at the tail end of the third quarter of 2017 (like, right now) and throughout the fourth quarter. These will supposedly consist of four-core and six-core 95-watt models labeled with a “K,” and 65-watt models without the “K” designation. Then in the first quarter of 2018, Intel plans to release the remaining Coffee Lake-S desktop CPU lineup consisting of two-core “K” units with a 95-watt power requirement, and several units only requiring 35 watts of power.